All pictures, calligraphy, and artwork on this blog are the work of the author unless otherwise noted.
14 Dec 2009 at 9:24am
In this painting of a Daruma by Hatsumi Sensei, we see the Daruma with a spider coming down it`s web and clinging to the Daruma`s eyebrow. The inscription reads, ? Ninjustu is on your eyebrow.... the spider`s thread, so close, the village of Togakure?. Sometimes things are so close to us that we can not perceive them. Like the eyeball can not see itself. It is itself seeing, so it can not see itself. Like the fire god coming down to earth and begging for fire. Not knowing that he himself is that for which he searches. The treasure is already buried deep within, it is up to us to shed the unnecessary in our thoughts and taijutsu to allow it to shine forth.
The Daruma`s eyes are staring inward. This is a form of ?Happo Nirami? or ?Staring in Eight Directions? . It is also a form of ?Ma Yokei? or ?warding off evil?.
Another story which could be related to this picture is the parable of the Buddha allowing a spider to lower a thread into hell to save a ruffian whose only good deed in life was that he purposely avoided stepping on a spider one day. As he climbs the thread to freedom, others below him grasp the tread and start to climb. Fearing the line will break, the ruffian screams at them to get off the rope as he kicks and slashes at them. He threatens to cut the rope above them which is precisely the moment the rope snaps above him snaps and he tumbles back to hell. The Buddha sighs.
14 Dec 2009 at 8:25am
At this year` Dai Kou Myo Event, Hatsumi Sensei displayed two Darumas. The Daruma is a favorite character for zen practitioners and martial artists. He represents the state that we aspire to reach in our life and art. It is said that once the Daruma left India and arrived in China, he spent around nine years in a cave in meditation staring at the cave wall, until he ridded himself of the illusions of this world. Often in paintings of the Daruma, you will see the phrase, ?Men Peki? or ?wall? which refers to this time and the state of no-mind the Daruma achieved.
Sensei`s Daruma is also staring; not at the wall but thru the wall! Sensei changes the characters to read ?Kan Peki? or thru the wall which is also a play on the word ?perfection?. Perhaps we must also break thru our walls of illusions of good and bad to reach this ?perfection?. If you can see thru your illusions and become translucent, the Buju Hi (as noted previously) will happily reveal it`s wonders to you.
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